Tiger Woods tied for PGA lead as winds do number on scorecards
BY HERB GOULD email@example.com August 10, 2012 9:18PM
Tiger Woods reacts to a missed putt on the 18th green Friday, when winds made a mess of play. | Chuck Burton~AP
AT A GLANCE
Vijay Singh 71-69—140 -4
Carl Pettersson 66-74—140 -4
Tiger Woods 69-71—140 -4
Ian Poulter 70-71—141 -3
J. Donaldson 69-73—142 -2
Rory McIlroy 67-75—142 -2
A. Baddeley 68-75—143 -1
Adam Scott 68-75—143 -1
Blake Adams 71-72—143 -1
T. Immelman 71-72—143 -1
Tiger tales: Two of Woods’ putts completely circled the cup and looked ready to spin out before falling back in. He is leading a major halfway through for the second time this season.
On the rebound: Singh was the only player to shoot in the 60s, finishing with a 3-under 69. He’s winless in nearly four years.
Major report: U.S. Open champ Webb Simpson missed the cut with rounds of 79 and 72.
Shot of the day: Pettersson hit a wedge shot from the sand about 20 yards out on No. 1 for birdie.
Ryder Cup: The top eight Americans in the Ryder Cup standings after the PGA Championship automatically qualify for the team. Hunter Mahan (No. 9 in the standings), Rickie Fowler (No. 12) and Brandt Snedeker (No. 13) missed the cut.
Key statistic: The scoring average for the second round was 78.11, the highest since the PGA Championship switched from match play to stroke play.
Noteworthy: There were only four scores under par Friday after 44 players broke par in the opening round.
Saturday’s TV: TNT, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; Ch. 2, 1-6 p.m.
Updated: September 12, 2012 6:11AM
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — Just wait, the world’s best golfers said after 44 of them were under par in the 94th PGA Championship on Thursday at Kiawah. It was the most in an opening round since 60 players opened under par at Medinah in 2006.
They were so right.
Showing why Golf Digest ranked it the toughest course in America, Kiawah bit back Friday.
With the wind howling, only four players shot better than par 72. Only 11 remain under par for this PGA after two rounds.
Friday’s sub-par rounds belonged to Tiger Woods (71), Vijay Singh (69), Ian Poulter (71) and Phil Mickelson (71).
And there, at the top of the 36-hole leaderboard, stands Woods, tied with Singh and first-round leader Carl Pettersson at 4-under. Pettersson got to 7-under but bogeyed three of his last four holes to finish at 74.
‘‘I’m very pleased to be able to shoot under par today,’’ Woods said. ‘‘Par or better was going to be a great score, and I was able to accomplish that.’’
Stuck on 14 major victories since the 2008 U.S. Open, Woods has put himself in contention on the weekend for the third straight time by managing his game well, just as he did at the U.S. and British Opens.
‘‘For some reason, the putts were going in,’’ Woods said. ‘‘It was fun, but also it was tough. I just grinded my way around this golf course. The hard part was, you got blown all over the place. There was no such thing as an easy tap-in. Because you were getting blown on putts, on chips. It was just a very difficult day.’’
If he’s going to move a step closer to all-time leader Jack Nicklaus’ 18 major championships, Woods will have to prove it this weekend. But a look at the leaderboard doesn’t seem to show any insurmountable opponents if Woods continues to build his confidence by performing consistently, especially with his putter.
‘‘I’m swinging it well,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ve been here before. I’ve been in this position many times in my career. I’m in good shape. [But] we’re just at the halfway point. We have a long way to go.’’
Woods missed a chance for the outright lead when he bogeyed No. 18. And he barely rattled in par putts that circled the hole on 10 and 14 before dropping.
But anything that went in was a blessing on a day when the wind was whipping in.
‘‘I consider 75 kind of a par round of golf out there today,’’ said Adam Scott, who heads to the weekend 1-under after following up his opening 68 with a 75. ‘‘It’s really very tough.’’
Pettersson, 34, a native of Sweden, won the Heritage in April at nearby Hilton Head but only has two top-10 finishes in majors, none since the 2008 U.S. Open.
A day after John Daly, 46, moved into the spotlight with a surprising 68, another veteran major winner, Singh, asserted himself for the first time in a long time. Daly slipped to a 5-over 77 on Friday; that leaves him 1-over after two rounds.
Singh, 49, won the 1998 and 2004 PGAs as well as the 2000 Masters. But his tie for ninth place at the British Open last month was his first top 10 in a major championship since 2006.
‘‘I’ve been playing well for a while,’’ Singh said. ‘‘All of a sudden, it clicked at the British. But nobody is used to winds like this. I shot 69. But if I had to go out there and play again, I don’t know what I’m going to shoot.’’
The way Woods has his jaw clenched, it’s his tournament to lose. For the first time in a long time.